What’s the secret to getting your child to do homework?

My daughter needs math tutelage. Claus works with her on that, creating daily “Daddy homework” to help her. She detests it, and she gives him a hard time, which is – obviously – draining to endure.


This daily occurrence is generally peppered with time-outs, whining, crying, and perhaps foot-stomping. And that’s just my husband.

I accidentally learned how to turn that around: Give her a choice between housework and homework.

The other day I was readying the house for a dinner party. I dictatorially enlist my reluctant family, which means a half-hearted job by Olivia and some minimally acceptable action from Claus.

After an hour, I passed through the living room and saw my husband relaxing on the sofa, watching Netflix. I incinerated him with my heat vision.

“What?” he said flatly.

“I didn’t say anything,” I replied from the kitchen.

“I saw that look,” he said. That Withering Wife look.

He got up and kept working for a little bit more. Pretty soon, though, he informed me it was time to do extracurricular math with Olivia.

You should see how they both ran to the homework table. You would think this is their favorite time of day by the gusto and duration with which they tackled fractions.

For the rest of this cleaning spurt, it was just me against the shower mildew. My family bailed because they had to study. Air quotes around study.

I should be insulted that they’ll do anything to avoid deep cleaning, but if this makes education preferable for her, I guess it’s OK. Which probably means I’ll have a very clean house in the near future and a math genius for a child in the long run.

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

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One thought on “What’s the secret to getting your child to do homework?

  • March 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I must have missed this post. Very funny Diane, rofl, wish I could observe one of your “normal” days.


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